Suspect Charged in NMSP Officer's Death Now Implicated in South Carolina Murder

Suspect Charged in NMSP Officer’s Death Now Implicated in South Carolina Murder

Authorities in Marion County have issued seventeen warrants for the arrest of a man who they believe killed and abducted a Pee Dee paramedic before shooting a state police officer with a gun in New Mexico.

Three counts of murder, kidnapping, carjacking, criminal conspiracy, two counts of grand larceny of a motor vehicle, two counts of first-degree burglary, two counts of possessing a weapon while committing a violent crime, and seven counts of being a felon in possession of a handgun are all against Marion resident Jaremy Smith, 33, who is currently being held in federal custody in New Mexico.

Early in March, 52-year-old Phonesia Machado-Fore of Marion, who was employed by EMS organizations in Florence and Marion counties, vanished from her house on Wildwood Loop. On March 15, her body was discovered in Dillon County, outside of Lake View.

Soon after Machado-Fore’s body was discovered, Smith was named as a “person of interest” in her death.

News of Smith’s suspected role in the death of New Mexico State Police Officer Justin Hare, who was ambushed when he stopped to assist Smith on Interstate 40 west of Tucumcari, also broke. According to the authorities, Hare stopped to help when Machado-Fore’s car broke down while he was inside.

This Monday, New Mexico officials announced that Smith will continue to be held in federal custody.

The primary investigator in this case, Marion County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division Chief Capt. Darren Miles, described it as the greatest multi-agency investigation he has ever been a part of.

The investigation has received assistance from a number of agencies, including the FBI, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Fourth and 12 Circuit solicitors’ offices, the Dillon County Sheriff’s Office, the Dillon County Coroner’s Office, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and the FBI.

“I have never seen a larger investigative force and collaboration than I have with this case,” Wallace stated in the news release. “For days, my office was filled with law enforcement officers from federal, state, and local agencies around the clock with one mission: find Phonesia and the person or persons responsible for her disappearance”

“We will not rest until every person involved in this horrific crime is brought to justice. Our hearts will always be with the family of Phonesia Machado-Fore, the New Mexico State Police and the family of Officer Justin Hare.”

Jamie Hamilton, the sheriff for Dillon County, described the case as “tragic” and “senseless.”

“This case brought national attention and our community truly got involved. Our citizens readily stepped up to ensure justice would prevail. May we never forget Phonesia Machado-Fore. I ask our community now to put their focus on her family and continue to lift her family up in prayer. Further, may we not forget the tragic loss of fellow officer Justin Hare, New Mexico State Police. I certainly believe in the power of prayer.”